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Jul 24 2012

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6 Things to do Before You Build Your New Home

BlueprintsWhen it comes to building a new home, the building process begins long before you break ground and pour the foundation. Discover six things you should do to prepare for your new home before construction begins.

 

  1. Decide on the type of home. People build homes for all types of reasons – family home, stepping up from a starter home, downsizing to an empty-nester, vacation home, rental property, weekend retreat, etc. Determine what type of home you plan to build.
  2. Determine your budget. Think about how much you can afford to spend on your new home and how much your new home will cost. Start checking with lenders to find out what size construction loan and mortgage you’re qualified to obtain. Knowing how much money you’ll be able to borrow and the likely cost of your new home will help you plan your building budget. Once you know what you can spend, you’ll have to determine how much of your budget can be spent on the lot and how much of your budget can be spent on construction, materials, etc.
  3. Hire a team of professionals. Assemble a team of professionals with expertise in the construction business. Your team will include the following professionals as well as others: your builder/general contractor, excavator, building inspector, carpenter(s), electrician, plumber, surveyor and maybe even a residential designer or engineer should you need to make adjustments to your house plans. If you begin by hiring the builder/general contractor, this expert will be able to provide advice about hiring other pros or may even have a crew of pros that he/she works with on a regular basis. Tip: Do not settle for the first builder you meet. It is important to interview more than one general contractor/builder, ask for references, proof of insurance, etc. Additionally, get a good feel for the kind of person each builder is and if this professional is someone you can work with and talk to on a daily basis for the next 6 to 9 months (or maybe even longer.) Finally, ask yourself, “Is this a person you can trust with handling and coordinating all of the details for your future dream home?”
  4. Select a lot. Regardless if you plan to build in a neighborhood, on mountainside or along a country road, it is often best to choose your lot before you select a house plan. You’ll have to consider the parameters of the lot such as the maximum width and depth, the grade of the lot, physical features on the lot, etc. when choosing your floor plan. Knowing the “lay of the land” will help you select a floor plan that best suits your needs and fits the lot. Additionally, you and your team of pros will need to study factors about the lot such as zoning, drainage, soil conditions and building codes specified for the community as well as geographic and climactic requirements.
  5. Choose a house plan. Make a list of needs and wants for your future home such as total finished square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special rooms such as an office, convenient features like a kitchen island/snack bar, the width and depth of your lot, preferred architectural style and the type of foundation you’ll need. Now search pre-drawn house plan collections like those found at www.TheHousePlanShop.com to narrow your selection. Most websites have a search tool to make it easy to eliminate floor plans that do not offer your specified criteria. Keep in mind pre-draw/stock home plans can often be modified with the help of a modification team, local residential designer or even your builder. If you find a floor plan you like, but it isn’t quite what you need, discuss your minor modifications with your builder or contact the supplier of the house plan to see if they can make modifications for you. At The HousePlanShop, LLC, we offer a modification service by which you can obtain a free quote for your changes before you purchase plans giving you an opportunity to learn how much things will cost before you make your final decision on a floor plan.
  6. Draw up a contract. After you’ve determined your budget, selected a team of professionals, chosen a lot and purchased a house plan, you’ll need to draw up a construction contract. The contract should be written and signed and dated by you and your general contractor/builder. The construction contract will describe the construction of the home in detail and list all parts of the home to be included. If you or your builder make any changes to the project scope, it is necessary that you amend the contract. Keeping a written record of the scope of the construction project will help you as the home owner know what things have been completed, what still needs to be done and if any problems need to be resolved.

 

Following this list steps to complete before you break ground for your new home will help ensure your home building project gets off to a good start.

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Feb 02 2012

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Today’s Home Building Trends

House Plan 023H-0102There is no doubt home building trends have changed throughout the years and continue to evolve. Today’s home building trends are influenced by environmental factors, homeowner preferences, the availability of land and other factors. Some of today’s building trends keep the comfort and lifestyle of the homebuyers in mind as well as call each of us to be more environmentally responsible. Check out these home building trends:

 

  1. Gathering spaces are open to one another allowing for easy interaction among family members and guests. For those with an eye on the golden years, open floor plans allow for easy mobility should you one day find yourself using a walker or wheelchair.
  2. Kitchens are becoming larger in size as most families consider the kitchen to be the hub of activity throughout the day.
  3. Master bedrooms and bathrooms have become larger and more spacious serving as a quiet retreat at the end of the day while offering homeowners a place to relax, refresh and pamper themselves.
  4. Plenty or organizational spaces are a must. Floor plans are including built-in shelving, display niches, abundant closet space, built-in desks, drop zones/lockers near the garage entry and convenient linen closets.
  5. Garages have grown in many cases to accommodate over-sized vehicles like trucks and SUVs while others use the extra space to provide a workbench or storage cabinets. Some garages are becoming environmentally-friendly offering a space for a charging station for electric vehicles or leaving room for a charging station in the future.
  6. Use of sustainable and environmentally-friendly building materials is becoming more common.
  7. Energy-saving and eco-friendly features such as low-flow toilets and energy efficient windows are gaining popularity and add vault to the home.
  8. Multi-generational living is trending upward and homeowners are finding a need to include a guest or in-law suite in the home or a mother-in-law cottage or garage apartment located behind or adjacent to the home. This allows aging relatives to continue to live in a home or somewhat independently with assistance nearby if necessary.
  9. Designers and builders are making an effort to take advantage of natural lighting by carefully positioning the home on the lot and the windows in the home to draw natural light inside, thus saving on lighting and energy bills.
  10. Home builders are making an effort to use less toxic materials and incorporate recycled materials when possible.
  11. Many builders are incorporating security systems including alarms and motion lighting around the perimeter of the home.
  12. Home designers are carefully arranging floor plans to have a narrow footprint especially in densely populated areas where land is precious.
  13. Floor plans often include large porches, screened porches, decks, patios, etc., for outdoor living and entertaining.
  14. Designers are including flexible spaces in their floor plans. For example, a full bath might be included in a den or office so the space can easily convert to a guest room with weekend visitors arrive. For those who only have occasional visitors, there is no need to have a designated guest room that is only used a couple times a year. In other cases, the flex space is meant to change and flex as your lifestyle changes. What might serve as a nursery when the kids are young can convert to a home office or hobby room as you move through the various phases of life.

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Nov 30 2011

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The House Plan Shop Offers a Variety of Multi-Family Home Plans

Multi-Family House Plan 025M-0066When it comes to multi-family dwellings, The House Plan Shop has a broad selection of designs to choose from. Multi-family house plans range in size and can accommodate two or more families depending on the complexity and the arrangement of units composing the design. Our collection of multi-family home plans is composed of the following categories:

 

·         Duplex Plans

·         Townhouse Plans

·         3-4 Unit Plans

·         5+ Unit Plans

 

These multi-family home plans can offer identical units or units with different floor plans. The units can be one or more levels and range in size from simple one bedroom, ne bath designs to three or more bedrooms and baths per unit. Some of the larger designs offering four or more units can be considered apartment plans.

 

If you are in the market for multi-family house plans, take some time to browse our collection. 

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Nov 09 2011

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Sub-Styles of Architectural House Plan Styles Offered

Adobe House Plan 057H-0012Last week we shared with you the many different architectural home plan styles we offer. Within the collections for each style, there are sub-styles available. Below is a list of architectural sub-styles represented on our website:

 

Adobe

Arts and Crafts

Farmhouse

Floridian

Georgian

Italian

Lakefront

Modern

Saltbox

Southwestern

Spanish

Tudor

 

Other architectural sub-styles can be found on our site as well. Take some time to browse all of our collections to see just how many house plan styles we offer.

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Nov 02 2011

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Architectural House Plan Styles Offered

House Plan 007H-0116The House Plan Shop, LLC offers home plans in a broad range of architectural styles ensuring our customers will find a home in the style they love. Many of the designs posted on our site feature exterior and/or interior photographs and/or color renderings making it easy to identify each one’s architectural style. Our home plan collection features designs in the following architectural styles:

 

Affordable

A-Frame

Beach

Bungalow

Cabin

Cape Cod

Carriage House

Coastal

Colonial

Contemporary

Cottage

Country

Craftsman

Empty-Nester

European

Log

Luxury

Mediterranean

Mountain

Multi-Family

Narrow Lot

Premier Luxury

Ranch

Small

Southern

Sunbelt

Traditional

Two-Story

Unique

Vacation

Victorian

Waterfront

 

Whether you are looking for a cozy bungalow home or a luxurious Mediterranean house plan, our extensive collection is sure to include home designs in the architectural style you love. Be sure to watch for next week’s blog post listing some of the architectural sub-categories found within the main architectural collections we shared today.

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